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Why do we host the Early Childhood STEM Institute?

What fun it is — learning how to teach young children about science, technology, engineering, and math! George Washington Carver said, “Since new developments are the products of a creative mind, we must therefore stimulate and encourage that type of mind in every way possible.” And so, teaching STEM concepts to the very young is a strategy that will reap huge rewards for the future, while serving as a fun, engaging activity in the present.

From birth, children show interest in learning about the world around in many ways. STEM experiences foster a child’s natural curiosity and build their understanding through inquiry-based experiences. From skill-building in daily routines and play to exploration and collaboration activities, children are drawn and celebrate the WHYs of early years.  Playing games, exploring with friends, and testing their intuitive theories about the world, STEM brings about multisensory experiences to better grasp concepts and ideas.  “Creativity is the secret sauce to science, technology, engineering, and math.” – Ainissa Ramirez, Science Evangelist.

Efforts to improve STEM in early childhood programs and more widely in U.S. schools both inside and outside the classroom has long been a challenge.  Adequate training of early education teachers in STEM concepts is essential to get a head start on STEM education. National Science Teachers Association recognizes the value and importance of nurturing young children’s curiosity and recommends that teachers and other providers who support the learning of science in young children be given professional development experiences.

R9HSA’s Early Childhood STEM Institute is focused on bringing our community a fun and engaging experience to learn science principles in an interactive, hands-on approach, enabling Head Start education staff to teach about science principles appropriately and knowledgeably.

Our theme for 2024 is Children as Innovators.  This year we are seeking workshops that showcase strategies for children and families, Birth to 5, that elevate innovation, creativity, curiosity, and discovery through observation and experimentation.

In addition, we will look welcome a deeper look at the potential of AI and the benefits to early childhood education.  We will explore AI’s impact on personalized learning, early intervention, interactive learning, continuous assessment, accessibility, and other areas of potential effect.

Interested in registering but don’t have a MyR9HSA account? Please email Lindsay Knox.


For our Early Childhood STEM Institute, we will be offering three formats to support deep learning and connections among attendees:

  • 2.5-hour Education Sessions
  • 1.5-hour Education Sessions
  • 1-hour Education Sessions, pre-recorded


Sheraton Downtown Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ


March 19-21, 2025

Thank You to Our Sponsors


Head Start Gear


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Questions? Contact us at headstartr9@region9hsa.org.